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Show reruns in Planetarium all semester

Francois Swart/The Telescope
Francois Swart/The Telescope

This semester Palomar’s Planetarium has noticeably lacked a new show in its line up of astronomical masterpieces being shown in the 50-foot Astrotec dome.

The Fulldome Presentation “Moons: Worlds of Mystery” has been playing since last semester.

The reason for this is quite simple according to Planetarium Director, Mark Lane.

“When choosing the show this time I just did not find anything that I liked,” Lane said.

Lane pointed out that licensing to show some of these films could cost up to $12,000 and at their most extravagant is $40,000.

The lack of a new show this semester has not particularly affected ticket sales. The line-up proves to keep attendees intrigued. After the April 2 showing of “Moons,” Frankie Younger, a Palomar linguistics major, said he found the show interesting.

“I’m taking an astronomy class and this really helps reinforce concepts that we learn,” Younger said.

Lynzee DeSantis, a student from Mt. San Jacinto College, seconded that motion.

“This is such an innovative way to keep the public interested in the subject matter.”

Since 1965, Palomar’s Planetarium has been putting on visually breathtaking shows every Friday evening. The shows and activities held at the Planetarium help educate students and the community about astronomy and space sciences.

Two JVC digital projectors work together to display a very realistic image of the night sky on the dome of the Planetarium. This full-dome view of the sky and other astronomy related movies make learning about the subject interactive and unique.

Since the opening of the new Planetarium in 2012, the shows that have been part of the Fulldome Presentation have been very popular. This semester, however, there has not been a new show added to this lineup.

The well-received show “Moons: Worlds of Mystery,” has been shown since last year.

Because the Planetarium is a self-funding entity that is open only once a week, it is important that the provided content attracts viewers. This causes Lane to be cautious when choosing shows.

He said he knows the shows that are chosen need to be interesting, educational and affordable.

Usually something new falls into the lineup every six months.

“Six months seems to be the sweet spot,” Lane said. He has had people asking about when the newest show will be aired, his response is strategic.

Since the new Planetarium is only three years old, people have not seen all the shows they have backlogged. This is a great opportunity to now rotate the shows they still have licensing over until something truly great strikes Lane’s interest. This allows for a degree of variety to the shows, without leaving people waiting for the next best thing.

“Secret Lives of Stars,” “Undiscovered Worlds” and “Stars: Powerhouses of the Universe” will be rotating with “Moons: Worlds of Mystery” every Friday evening until June 26 tentatively.

For more information on the Planetarium, shows and tickets visit the website

Angela Marie Samora/ The Telescope
Angela Marie Samora/ The Telescope

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